Meet Jazzi Goode – the poster girl for total involvement. She’s been a student ambassador, a Bonner Leader, a dorm counselor, an orientation intern and a student worker. She’s also an elementary education major who’s bound to be voted “favorite teacher” by her future students.
Jazzi has an unmistakable zest for life. Combined with her extracurricular experiences and the training she’s getting in the Department of Teacher Education, that’s a potent combination for a future educator.
To complement her coursework, Jazzie volunteered with Wings for Kids – an after-school program for Title I schools. “I basically taught kids social and emotional learning skills. It was cool working with them and learning how to plan lessons. Being in a Title I school was new for me, but it convinced me that I want to be in a position to improve the education these kids get.”
Jazzi knows that becoming a teacher isn’t easy. “This major is a pretty regimented program, so I learned early on how valuable it is to have support from my professors. They’ve been very understanding of my other commitments. Each one told me, ‘we’ll work with you.’ But they also won’t accept mediocre work from me. I realized this meant that they really care about me and about producing the best teachers possible.”
One of the best courses she has taken, Jazzi says, is Classroom Management. “Our professor didn’t sugarcoat anything. She let us know straight up what we’d be experiencing as teachers. But she also taught us different strategies for handling various situations. She demanded that we add something special to our lesson plans in order to truly engage our students, and taught us how to generate ‘student buy-in.’ She gave us the freedom – and the tools – to determine how we would each achieve that. As a future teacher, discovering a style that works for me is what matters most.
Our graduates are actively recruited because they’re superbly well prepared. The structure of our program and the teaching expertise of the faculty who support it – more than 30 professors in all – combine to make ours one of the most respected teacher education programs throughout the Southeast.
❱❱ Faculty and administrators maintain strong partnerships with elementary schools in the region.
❱❱ Each major has four semesters of fieldwork, gaining hands-on experience in actual elementary school classrooms.
❱❱ Our coursework is specifically integrated with time spent at elementary schools.